What About Those Who Died Without Knowing God?

Q. My son asked me a question about what happened (eternally) to those who lived at the time of the old testament, but maybe were not able to hear about God-will they go to Heaven? I think I remember something in the Bible that they should know there is a God because of the world around them—- Is that partially right? What did happen to those people who did not hear of the one, true God?

A. God claims to be a just God.

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” (Deut. 32:4)

That means He can’t condemn someone for not knowing something they couldn’t have known. Since the Bible doesn’t speak of any category of humans who have been/will be spared because of ignorance (unknowing), and since we have only this lifetime in which to secure our eternity (Hebr. 9:27), everyone who was ever born has to receive at least one bona fide offer of the Kingdom before he / she dies. Romans 1:20 says that God has made himself so blatantly obvious in the creation that men are without excuse. I believe that right from the beginning everyone could have seen God in the creation and those who sought Him found Him (Matt. 7:7-8)

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